Zambia Open University, Vice Chancellor, Mutale Musonda has urged institutions offering distance learning to adopt information and communication technologies (ICTs) in order to effectively support and reduce challenges faced in accessing educational materials.
Professor Musonda said distance learning can be made easy through adopting and deploying innovative ICT platforms that can easily facilitate the efficiency and cost effective delivery of educational resources.
He said this during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the US$650, 000 digital platform capacity building project between Zambia Open University, Southern Africa Telecentre Network and Library and Information Association of Zambia.
The MoU is aimed at improving service delivery in education and agricultural services through access to information and communication technology (ICT) in rural parts of the country.
Prof. Musonda said the three year project is designed as a multi-purpose ICT rural service that will provide services to people in rural areas through the use of ICTs via mobile and broadband internet communication services.
He stated that the project will also create opportunities for rural farmers to access information from the telecentres to help support improved service delivery in the agriculture sector.
And Southern Africa Telecentre Network Regional Facilitator, Dean Mulozi said the use of ICTs will improve the lives of people in rural areas as they lag behind in this sector.
Mr. Mulozi said the project will not only help students on distance learning with Zambia Open University but will also benefit local people in rural districts of Zambia who had no access to ICTs in the education, agriculture and health sectors.
And Library and Information Association of Zambia president, Valenasi Musanje said the association aims at ensuring that many Zambian have access to ICTs by promoting their usage especially in rural parts of the country.